Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards is moving on. He was hired as an assistant coach by the Predators, it was announced Friday, after serving in the same role for four years in Tampa Bay.
Richards, who turned 54 on Tuesday, coached the defense and the penalty kill most recently for the Lightning. Before joining the Lightning, he spent five seasons as head coach of the Blue Jackets.
General manager Julien BriseBois said Richards approached him and coach Jon Cooper after the season and said he’d like a change of scenery.
“He wanted to continue to grow as a coach and a person, and said after four years in one place, he would benefit from a change,” BriseBois said.
BriseBois said he granted Richards permission to talk to other teams and told him he would release Richards from his contract if he found another job.
“We thank him for his years of service and wish him the absolute best in his new endeavor,” BriseBois said.
Richards rounds out the staff for Predators coach John Hynes, who was hired in January after being fired by the Devils. He replaced Peter Laviolette, who was fired midseason. Assistants Dan Hinote and Dan Lambert were hired in September and in June 2019, respectively.
BriseBois said he expects the rest of the Lightning coaching staff to return next season. Cooper will be in charge of finding a replacement for Richards.
This is the second time in three years the Lightning are looking for a new assistant. In 2018 they parted ways with Rick Bowness, who has stepped into the role of head coach with the Stars.